Friday, January 3, 2014

The Weather Outside is Frightful....


Well it was frightful for us, and still is for many others in North America. The 22nd of December a large storm came through southern Ontario, pelting us with freezing rain. Power lines and trees were covered in ice and many broke down from the accumulation of ice or from the change in temperature over the first 48 hours. Power outages were everywhere, lasting mere hours to an eternal 7 days or longer.








We were fortunate. We lost power for 15 hours but my mother in law was out for 4 days. The storm turned everyone's Christmas plans upside down. My mother in law's Christmas dinner was moved to our home once we realized she would be without power for a few days. Family driving in from elsewhere delayed their trip a couple of days and now needed a roof over their heads while in Burlington. Thankfully it was all sorted out quickly and relatively painlessly and we could enjoy a family Christmas together.


all photos are from the Globe and Mail newspaper


Have you ever heard of "frost quakes" ? According to the news some people reported hearing loud booms that "sounded like gunshots" in the night. Officials say those who heard it may have witnessed a "frost quake," also known as cryoseisms. These occur when extreme cold temperatures freeze water deep in the soil. As it freezes, it expands, sometimes causing enough built up pressure that the ground cracks, occasionally with enough force to cause a loud "boom" sound. Yikes.

Today a new storm is heading up the eastern coast of the USA and into the Canadian maritime provinces. This  is a snow storm. As of this evening it is reported that the heaviest snow fell north of Boston in Boxford, Mass. in the USA, which reported nearly 60 centimetres. Welcome to 2014.


Being close to the lake we did not get the freezing rain in such abundance as in other areas. At some point overnight I woke to hear the freezing rain change to plain 'ole rain. We had very little damage with only tiny branches falling to the ground. It is unusual to get this much snow at this time of the year in Burlington. It made for a lovely Christmas season, but I am sure we would have all preffered it without the ice.

Best wishes to all in 2014. May your gardens grow and bloom with abandon and present you with a year of satisfying garden pleasures.



25 comments:

  1. Oh my. We had the same storm hit us too. Our street looked as the images you have shown with downed branches. Luckily we did not lose power, as it seemed very likely. I was following your outages and felt so bad for people where it went on for days and days. I wish you a happy New Year and a bountiful garden too. How is the cold and wind this week? Yesterday I was out in 1°F but it was the wind blowing drifts of snow that made me disheartened. I have to shovel and there where 3 foot drifts to remove.

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    1. We just had a few days of -15C to -19C, however with the wind chill factored in it felt like -28C. It was bitterly cold - I know, I went for a walk without my long underwear and regretted it! Today it starts to warm up and then another large snow storm is expected Sunday evening with anywhere from 5-15 cm of snow.

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  2. Yikes -- winter at its worst! I had never heard of frost quakes and was interested to read the explanation. Here in southern New England we are buried in fresh snow and it is 0 degrees F this morning -- I'll be listening for frost quake booms now.

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    1. Sounds like a lovely day. I hope the sun is shining.

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  3. Frost quakes, that's scary Patty. We are not getting the severe cold and snow but a number of areas have been flooded causing considerable damage.
    Your photographs are quite exceptional.

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    1. Oh dear, I would not want flooding, it goes everywhere. Take care. Thank the Globe and Mail for the great pics.

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  4. Happy New Year, Patty! Your ice photos are exquisite! I'm glad your family is all OK after all the storms, power outages, etc. We have had a difficult winter since Thanksgiving, and now we're in for the arctic blast that all the news people are talking about. I can't believe it's stretching all the way to Georgia and Texas! We will have a HIGH temperature of -11F/-24C on Monday, with lows in the -20sF/C and windchills of -50sF/40sC on Sunday and Monday. Brrr...

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    1. Hi Beth, I was thinking of you. We are going to get some of that storm too. Stay inside where it is warm.

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  5. Frightful indeed. Your bad weather was on the news here. Are you used to this or is this winter exceptional? My best wishes for 2014 Patty.

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    1. Ice storms do not happen very often. And certainly not in the area where I live, which is a very southern part of Canada. All the best to you Denise this New Year.

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  6. All those big old beautiful trees! So sad. The ice is also beautiful, if treacherous. Best wishes for 2014!

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    1. Hello Jason. There is quite a lot of beauty in the aftermath of a winter storm. And the sun is always shining brightly in the blue blue blue sky the next day.

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  7. From what I hear from friends near Peterborough, it is warming up a little. I hope the worst of it is over.
    We are in Victoria B.C. for December and January. Apparently the Bruce only got a great deal of snow rather than ice.
    Happy New Year Patty, to you and all yours.

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    1. Thank you Alain. BC has been getting its unusual share of snow this year too hasn't it. Spring is not too far from February in Victoria, you may want to stay a bit longer.

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  8. Hi Patty
    At first I feared the ice pix were from your neighbourhood! We had damage up in my area but nothing personally, thank goodness! And yes these frost quakes are new and weird. The news said that people had called the police reporting someone breaking into their home or that they had heard gun shots!! I guess they are loud.
    Let's see how we fare with the next big snowfall tomorrow! Gosh, I am already longing for Spring…..
    Happy New Year anyway!

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    1. I am glad to hear your neighborhood had little damage too. Tomorrow could bring a fair amount of snow - get the shovel ready!

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  9. I'm glad you made it through the worst! I've never heard of a frost quake but I can imagine how unsettling it would be to hear loud explosions you couldn't identify. I'm so glad none of those trees fell on your house. We have extreme cold heading our way Monday night and I'll be covering two of my shrubs with sleeping bags to keep them alive.

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    1. The frost quakes are new to me too. Must be very weird or unsettling. Good luck with your shrubs, the sleeping bags are a good idea.

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  10. Patty I am glad to hear you suffered little damage. I know ice storms can be devastating....but they also do look gorgeous. I had not heard about these quakes...how interesting. Wishing you a belated Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Donna. I wish you a wonderful New Year.

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  11. Wow, Patty! That was quite the storm! There won't be a back to normal for those who have so much damage to their trees. I hope the new weather event will be snow and not the ice. I hope you can stay inside and keep warm. Here in SE Nebraska, tomorrow is supposed to be below zero, with dangerous wind chills. Since many of us will be staying inside anyway, I wish we'd get a bit more snow, but that's not in the forecast.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy New Year to you, too!

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    1. We are getting more snow overnight Sue, but I won't be anything like the last. I can deal with snow and I don't mind shoveling too much. Happy New Year.

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  12. No to zima zrobiła Wam bardzo dużą i niemiłą niespodziankę. Dobrze, że wszystko wróciło do normy. Pozdrawiam.
    Well done to you this winter a very large and unpleasant surprise. Well, that everything was back to normal. Yours.

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  13. Happy New Year Patty! We drove through parts of Brampton that I hadn't seen since the storm and I was shocked to see the extent of the devastation. We have probably lost 2 big trees and there is a huge cleanup of limbs to do as well.We heard several booms but I figured it was to do with the power going out. Interesting to read about the frost quakes. As far as power loss went we were very, very lucky and only were in darkness for a few hours. Now the temperature is going to climb and I am worried about flooding in the basement. What a winter we are having!!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, yes, I am wondering about flooding too. With the frozen ground the water does not have many places to go to, and our basement has flooded in the past. I am sorry to hear of the loss of trees, that will make an impact on your views I am sure.

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